Friday, July 20, 2012

And the Winner for the Left's Most Morally Bankrupt Response to Aurora Is...

Actually, the field of competition is deep, but I'm nominating this piece from Michael Grunwald at Time, "The Aurora Shooting: Sometimes There’s Nothing Wrong with Politicizing a Tragedy" (via Memeorandum):
The telegenic schoolmarms we call pundits are all denouncing the politicization of the tragedy in Aurora, calling out the crass opportunists who would dare to use human suffering to advance their preferred public policy choices. I feel terrible about what happened in that movie theater, and I’m agnostic about gun control, but there is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy.

The talking heads don’t like it, because they think of politics as a silly game about who sang out of tune and whose words can be used against them and whose surrogate undercut whose message, but politics is about life and death and human suffering. At least that’s what it should be about.
Unsurprisingly, Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog agrees with Grunwald, saying only that the former's diagnosis of how politics works is inaccurate. By all means, they claim, let's politicize "life and death" events because that's how we "solve problems." Recall that Steve M. also searched James Holmes' name to find tea party ties, only to find out he was too young to be the "James Holmes" he'd found at the boards. Bummer. That would have made for some freakin' awesome smears of "Greater Wingnuttia."


No, wrong.

Behold the completely despicable, morally bankrupt progressive left. There is absolutely no threshold of decency they won't crash through.

The day saw lots of examples of progressives jumping to conclusions and blaming the right for this senseless, diabolical killing. Michelle Malkin has a great roundup, "Blame Righty impulse blows up in media faces…again."

And this just in from Paul at Power Line, "THE POLITICAL USES OF MASS MURDER":
There was a time, I seem to recall, when no one attempted to tie mass murder by random sickos to politics. For example, I don’t remember anyone wondering about the politics of Richard Speck, the killer of Chicago student nurses, or Charles Whitman, the University of Texas shooter.

I don’t know when the turning point occurred. Perhaps it was the Oklahoma City bombing. In any event, the bounce Bill Clinton received following that event meant that, from then on, random killing sprees would always be viewed as candidates for political use.

Today, we saw this sad trend reach new heights when Brian Ross of ABC News attempted to tie the killings in Colorado to the Tea Party, incorrectly suggesting that the killer is a Tea Party activist. It’s difficult to believe that Ross did this in good faith, considering his apparent unwillingness, and that of his network, to recognize that the name of the killer, James Holmes, is quite common. In any case, the error would not have occurred had Ross not correctly perceived that there exists a mass audience hoping to be informed that the murderer was connected to the Tea Party. Absent such an audience, the story would have been duly fact checked.
Or, to put it another way, there was absolutely no reason to mention the tea party at all, except to smear the conservatives who've been the main drivers of the largest, most effective opposition to President Obama for the last three years. So yeah, there's certainly political motivation to smear tea partiers. They're a threat to the Democrat-Media-Complex stranglehold on power.

But see also, Peter Wehner, at Commentary, "Politicizing the Aurora Massacre":
...I want to say a word, too, about something Jonathan [Tobin] touched on in his post, which is the effort by some – in this case, by ABC’s Brian Ross — to attempt to politicize this tragedy almost as soon as the bullets from the killer’s gun had found their targets. (Ross mistakenly speculated, based on the flimsiest evidence, that the killer was a member of the Tea Party. ABC has since issued a retraction and an apology.)

This kind of politicization occurs in part because reporters on the air feel they have to comment on an event when they in fact have very little to say. It is also the result, I think, of an effort to draw some larger meaning from acts that often turn out to have no larger meaning. Sometimes they are what they are: the malevolent actions of poisoned minds. But part of it, too, is a reflex by some to fit a massacre like this into a preexisting political narrative. We saw it happen in the aftermath of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City; the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School; the 2011 shooting spree near Tucson; and we will undoubtedly see it after today’s slaughter.

To be clear: there is such a thing as political violence. But what is troubling is the immediate assumption by some people, usually those who are part of the political class, that every massacre can be ascribed to political motivations. Acting on this assumption, they contort things in order to make them fit a convenient political template.

This effort to interpret everything through a political and partisan lens – to reduce everything to a political and partisan interpretation – is itself a disfigurement of reality. Life is a complicated and endlessly variegated thing. Politics has a role in all our lives; but for it to play such a dominant role in people’s imagination is surely not a healthy thing. And for people to immediately and instinctively take every human event – no matter how tragic and how painful — and place it in the maw of our politics is wrong and even repulsive. It exploits people’s sorrow and grief in order to score cheap political points and frame stupid political argument.

A modest and civilized society would give room to the families and friends of the dead to begin to process their shattering losses. It would give room to the police to do their work and gather evidence. It would leave room for citizens of this nation to reflect with soberness and seriousness on what has happened; to participate, if only for a brief time, in a national mourning of sorts. And it might even resist the impulse to leverage a massacre into a political culture war. It would be helpful if members of the press and politicians understood this, and acted in a way that showed some measure of decency and compassion.
Tobin's post is here: "Rushing to Judgment on Aurora."

So, yeah, there is indeed something wrong with politicizing death and tragedy like this. There will be time to engage the policy issues that arise from this and other massacres. But that's not what Brian Ross was trying to do, and it's not what the epic asshole progressives have been trying to do all day. The left will exploit gruesome, horrendous human tragedy to destroy its enemies. It's as simple as that. And for anyone to say otherwise is completely bereft of God and decency.